Panther baseball team near league lead at 7-1 |

Panther baseball team near league lead at 7-1

Larry Banman
Sky-Hi News sports correspondent
Grand County, CO Colorado
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News | Sky-Hi News

Middle Park continues to play solid baseball this spring and sit in second place in the Frontier League with a 7-1 mark. The Panthers have an overall record of 11-2.

Bennett High School sits atop the league standings with a 9-0 mark while Jefferson Academy and The Academy each have an 8-2 mark in league play. The Panthers from Middle Park lead the league in both pitching and hitting. The team ERA of 3.45 is the tops in the Frontier League as is the team batting average of .449

The Panthers played a torrid stretch of baseball from March 16 to April 30, outscoring their opponents, 149-46.

In a doubleheader played on March 19 with Jefferson, the Panthers swept the twinbill, 10-0 and 15-0. Mitch Franek was credited with the complete game shutout in game one, registering nine strikeouts. Stetson Sabados had three hits while Franek and Shelby Garrett each had two base knocks. Matt Hydrusko had a home run and two RBIs while Garrett had three RBIs and Sabados knocked in two runs.

In a game played against Arrupe Jesuit on April 24, Bryndon Jackson, Johnny Stensvad and Karl Olsen combined for a shutout win as the Panthers scored 21 runs in an offensive explosion. The team capitalized on its 17 hits and six walks to run away with a victory.

Franek was the winning pitcher again when the Panthers defeated Clear Creek, 16-6 in a game played on April 28. He twirled a complete game and struck out six Golddiggers in the win. Offensively, Franek was also solid as he collected four hits in four at bats and registering three RBIs. Hydrusko and Tyler Franek had three hits while Sabados and PJ Ruschmyer had two hits apiece. Tyler Franek, Sabados, Ruschmyer and Tim Johnson had two RBIs each in the win.

In the second game, Hydrusko, Conner Jennings and AJ Sapien combined pitching efforts in a 10-6 win. In the game Mitch Franek had two RBIs and single runs were knocked in by Cory Kerr, Connor Gunderson, Dylan Terry, Cort Brennan, Sabados, Sapien and Jordan Reynolds.

On April 30, the Panthers swept another doubleheader, this time from the Denver School of Science and Technology. Tyler Franek pitched a complete game victory in game one as Middle Park won 12-0. In game two, Coach James Newberry used Cody Hartmann, Mitch Franek, Stensvad and Kopp to bring home a 15-13 win. Sapien, Jennings, Connor Dolan and Shelby Garrett all had two hits in the game.

The winning streak for the Panthers finally came to a stop in an 8-3 loss to Jefferson Academy on May 5.

In individual statistics, Stetson is leading the team in hitting with 24 hits and a .615 batting average and Cort Brennan is second at .548. Mitch Franek is hitting .526 while Shelby Garrett is hitting .514. Hydrusko is hitting at a .500 clip while Tyler Franek and Reynolds are hitting .444 and .424 respectively. Sabados also leads the team in triples with three while Mitch Franek is the team leader in doubles with seven.

Mitch Franek leads the team in RBIs with 18, Sabados has knocked in 15 runs, Hydrusko has 14 RBIs, Garrett is credited with 12 RBIs while Brennan and Tyler Franek have 10 RBIs apiece.

Reynolds had two home runs to lead the team and Hydrusko is credited with the team’s other home run.

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